The Comment That Became A Post
It happens, more often than not in my experience. This one sprang from the Iraq discussion below. I’ve revised and extended in places as the mood, or the brown liquor, moved me.
I, on the other hand, was perfectly happy with the invasion of Iraq. Still am.
What I disliked, a reaction which made me perfectly representative of the American public during most of the wars in our history, is how it was fought after the first couple of months.
We’re a picky bunch.
I’m happier with the strategy now, and in any case content myself with the knowledge of Clemenceau, that “War is a series of catastrophes that results in a victory.”
The point is to suffer one less catastrophe than the enemy–a perfectly achievable goal given our vast superiority in every resource aside from patience.
The question is, do we use those resources actively, to engage the enemy on our terms, or reactively, engaging them on theirs?
Think of it as a football game. The more time your side spends on offense, the less the other side gets to. What I want is for us to remain on offense for as long as possible. I understand the position of those who think that we’re creating more enemies than we are getting rid of by remaining in Iraq, but I also think they’re historically somewhat ill-informed. At the very least, a person taking that position conflates the various anti-insurgency campaigns conducted by the British and Russian Empires despite their very differing tactics and–tellingly–outcomes.
History shows that It is perfectly possible to kill a whole bunch of enemies without creating more enemies. What is important is how one goes about it.
We’ll end up staying in Iraq until the government there can govern, or we bug out prior to that and abandon the Iraqis to their holocaust. Either way, we’ll eventually prevail in the struggle we now find ourselves in, no matter what one calls it. Our advantages in the struggle are simply too large. The question is how long it takes, and how much damage we allow the other side to inflict prior to doing so.
The Football Metaphor: Americans like an exciting, fast paced, dominant offense. The problem with Iraq is that, after we ran the initial kickoff back for a touchdown, GB & company decided to protect a 7-0 lead by going with a three yards and a cloud of dust offense* for the rest of the game. Knowing this to be a moronically stupid–not to mention boring–strategy, Americans headed for the exit in droves.
Since then, Bush has changed quarterbacks, and we’re now running the option, with the plays called at the line rather than being sent in from the sidelines. It’s not West Coast Football, but it has the advantage of being a lot more unpredictable than our previous offense, and it seems to be having an effect.
*Given the unpopularity of the war among most of Left, one could call it a Single Wing, were one infatuated with one’s own cleverness.